Everton have waited 17 years for an opening day win away from Goodison Park but they’ll have to win until next season to try their hand at breaking that drought.
A debut brace for Richarlison almost secured three points for Marco Silva’s side against Wolves despite the Blues being reduced to ten men but a late Raul Jimenez header secured a point for the hosts.
The Blues took the lead just after the 15-minute mark through their new Brazilian winger.
A deep free-kick on the left-hand side of the Wolves area was sent deep by Leighton Baines. Michael Keane rose highest the ball pinballed off a defender before allowing Richarlison to bang home into an empty net.
The Blues were in control of proceedings until just before half-time when they saw the dubious sending off of their captain.
Phil Jagielka dove into a tackle on a loose ball, seemingly taking the ball before the man, but referee Craig Pawson blew his whistle, signalled for a foul and gave the Blues’ captain his marching orders.
That gave the hosts a free-kick from the edge of the Everton area which Ruben Neves dispatched directly into Jordan Pickford’s top left-hand corner.
Despite being down to ten men, the Blues came out of the half-time the better of the two sides and regained their lead. Richarlison spun away from Conor Coady before curling a low effort past Rui Patricio.
Silva’s side looked to hold-out for their result despite being down a man but Wolves made the man advantage count as the played around on the Everton box, pulling the Blues out of position before Neves sent a diagonal ball into the path of Jimenez who headed home.
Embed from Getty Images
Jagielka departure lifts game
After a poor pre-season, much had been made about Silva taking charge of his first competitive Everton game but the Portuguese boss sent his side out in a positive manner.
With his flurry of Deadline Day signings unavailable, players who will be fighting for their place once they arrive had to step-up.
The much-maligned Morgan Schneiderlin looked tidy and recycled play well. Michael Keane was solid in defence, clearing with confident pretty much anything that came his way bar Neves’ brilliant diagonal ball.
That positive play and confidence allowed the Blues to dominate proceedings right up until they saw their captain given his marching orders by referee Pawson.
Neves’ resulting goal from the free-kick gave new life into a game that had gone flat and was falling away from the hosts’ grasp.
Embed from Getty Images
Food for thought for Nuno
There will be much to take from the game for Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo.
His side, who blew away the Championship last season, looked unimpressive for the most part but will need more from those players who helped them seal promotion last term.
Diogo Jota and Helder Costa were quiet and never really offered much going forward for Santo’s side.
New signing Joao Moutinho will take time to adapt to his new surroundings and his side will need him to dictate games going forward.
Nuno will be disappointed his side didn’t offer more against Everton’s ten men but will likely be receptive to securing a point following Richarlison’s brilliance.